Avoid These Common Mistakes When Taking Over Someone Else's PPC Campaign

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Are you taking over a Pay per Click (PPC) campaign from someone who doesn’t know much about digital ads? It can be a daunting task, but don’t worry. We’ve got you covered with a list of common mistakes to avoid and actionable tips to optimize your PPC efforts.

Common Mistakes to Avoid

Auto-apply recommendations are on

Auto-applying recommendations in digital advertising is generally not a good practice for several reasons. First and foremost, auto-applying recommendations can lead to negative consequences such as decreased performance, increased costs, and poor campaign optimization.

Auto-applying recommendations can result in poor campaign optimization because the algorithm is not able to take into account the specific goals and strategies of the campaign. Recommendations may be based on general data and may not be relevant or effective for a particular campaign.

In addition, auto-applying recommendations can lead to increased costs. The algorithm may recommend strategies that require higher bids or more aggressive targeting, which can result in higher costs without necessarily improving the overall performance of the campaign.

Auto-applying recommendations can also result in decreased performance. The algorithm may recommend changes that do not align with the overall campaign strategy or that negatively impact the user experience, such as overly aggressive retargeting or poorly targeted ads. This can lead to decreased engagement, increased bounce rates, and ultimately, lower conversion rates.

Overall, it is important to approach digital advertising with a strategic mindset and carefully evaluate recommendations before implementing them. Auto-applying recommendations may seem like an easy way to improve campaign performance, but in reality, it can lead to negative consequences and poor campaign optimization.

Search campaigns set up to serve as both search and display

Setting up search campaigns to serve as both search and display can be detrimental to the success of a PPC advertising campaign. While it may seem like a cost-effective way to reach a wider audience, it can actually lead to wasted ad spend and lower conversion rates.

Here are some reasons why it’s bad to use the same campaign for both search and display:

Different Targeting Options: Search ads and display ads have different targeting options, including location, demographics, and interests. Combining them in the same campaign can lead to confusion and ineffective targeting.

Different Ad Formats: Search ads and display ads also have different ad formats. Display ads are more visual and can include images and videos, while search ads are primarily text-based. Trying to create ads that work for both can lead to a lack of focus and poor performance.

Different Intent: People searching for something on Google have a specific intent, while those browsing the internet are not necessarily looking for a specific product or service. As a result, display ads are often less effective at driving conversions.

Lower Quality Scores: Combining search and display campaigns can lead to lower quality scores, which in turn can increase the cost per click and lower the ad position. This is because the ad relevance and expected click-through rate (CTR) are likely to be lower when targeting both search and display audiences.

Overall, it’s better to separate search and display campaigns to ensure that each one is optimized for its specific audience and intent. This approach can lead to better performance, higher conversion rates, and lower cost per acquisition.

Limited or no use of negative keywords, placements, etc

Limited or no use of negative keywords, placements, and other targeting options can significantly harm the performance of a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign. Negative keywords are terms that advertisers can exclude from their target keywords to avoid irrelevant clicks and wasted ad spend. By not using negative keywords, businesses risk showing their ads to people who are not interested in their products or services, resulting in a lower click-through rate (CTR) and wasted ad spend.

Similarly, placements refer to the websites and webpages where an ad can appear. When advertisers fail to exclude irrelevant placements or choose the wrong ones, they risk showing their ads to people who are not interested in their products or services. This leads to a lower CTR, lower ad relevance, and lower quality scores, which in turn drives up the cost-per-click (CPC) and wastes ad spend.

In addition to negative keywords and placements, other targeting options such as geographic targeting, device targeting, and audience targeting can significantly impact the performance of a PPC campaign. By not using these targeting options effectively, businesses risk showing their ads to the wrong people or in the wrong places, leading to lower engagement and wasted ad spend.

In short, limited or no use of negative keywords, placements, and other targeting options can lead to wasted ad spend, lower CTR, lower ad relevance, lower quality scores, and higher CPC. To maximize the performance and ROI of a PPC campaign, businesses should ensure they are effectively using these targeting options and continually optimizing their campaigns based on data and insights.

Poor campaign structure (often just one or two campaigns with everything lumped in together)

Having a poor campaign structure can lead to a number of negative consequences for a pay-per-click (PPC) advertising campaign. When everything is lumped together in just one or two campaigns, it becomes difficult to track and optimize the performance of individual ads or groups of ads.

Here are some reasons why a poor campaign structure can be detrimental to a PPC campaign:

Poor organization: When campaigns are poorly structured, it can be challenging to organize and manage them effectively. It can lead to a lot of wasted time and effort when trying to sort through ads, adjust bids, or create new campaigns.

Lower Quality Score: A low-quality score can impact the success of your ads. A poor campaign structure can lead to a lower quality score because ads are not being displayed in the most relevant context.

Wasted Budget: With a poor campaign structure, you may be bidding on keywords that are not relevant to your business. This results in wasted ad spend as your ads are shown to people who are not interested in your products or services.

Inefficient ad targeting: Poor campaign structure can lead to targeting the wrong audience. This could result in ad campaigns being shown to people who have no interest in the product or service being offered.

Poor conversion rates: When ads are not structured properly, it can lead to low conversion rates. This means that even if a lot of people click on your ads, they may not convert into customers.

By organizing campaigns into specific groups with relevant keywords, ad copy, and landing pages, businesses can improve their PPC campaign’s effectiveness. With better campaign organization, it becomes easier to track performance, optimize campaigns, and adjust bids to get the most out of ad spend.

Bad conversion tracking

Bad conversion tracking in Pay per click (PPC) can be detrimental to the success of a campaign. This occurs when there are issues with the tracking of actions taken by users after they click on an ad, which can result in incorrect or incomplete data being reported.

There are several consequences of bad conversion tracking in PPC, including:

Inaccurate data: Bad conversion tracking can lead to incomplete or incorrect data being reported. This can make it difficult to analyze the effectiveness of a campaign and make informed decisions on how to optimize it.

Wasted budget: Without proper conversion tracking, it can be difficult to determine which keywords or ads are driving conversions. This can lead to wasted budget on underperforming campaigns or keywords.

Inability to optimize: Accurate conversion tracking is essential for optimizing a campaign. Without it, it can be difficult to determine which changes are having a positive impact on performance and which are not.

Missed opportunities: Bad conversion tracking can result in missed opportunities to capitalize on successful campaigns. Without accurate data, it can be difficult to identify and replicate successful strategies.

Unsuccessful campaign outcomes: Ultimately, bad conversion tracking can result in an unsuccessful campaign outcome, as it prevents the business from understanding what actions are leading to desired results and what needs to be improved.

To avoid bad conversion tracking, it’s important to set up conversion tracking correctly from the beginning of a campaign, regularly check and verify data accuracy, and adjust tracking as needed to ensure accurate reporting.

Very little grouping of keywords / ad content / landing pages around the customer intent

Having very little grouping of keywords, ad content, and landing pages around customer intent can lead to ineffective and inefficient PPC campaigns. When the keywords are not grouped properly, it becomes difficult to match the right ad to the right search query, which reduces the relevance and quality of the ad copy, and ultimately leads to lower click-through rates (CTRs) and conversions.

By grouping keywords by their relevance and intent, advertisers can create targeted ad groups with specific ad copy and landing pages that are tailored to the search query. This ensures that the ads shown to the user are highly relevant to their search intent, increasing the likelihood that they will click on the ad and convert on the landing page.

Without proper grouping of keywords, advertisers may also end up bidding on irrelevant or broad match keywords that are not relevant to their business, resulting in wasted spend and low return on investment (ROI).

Furthermore, grouping keywords by customer intent allows advertisers to identify gaps in their campaigns and create new ad groups to fill those gaps. This allows for a more comprehensive and targeted approach to PPC advertising, resulting in better performance metrics and ROI.

Too much focus on ad copy or creative, not enough focus on post-click behavior

In PPC advertising, having a strong ad copy or creative is undoubtedly important, but focusing too much on it while neglecting post-click behavior can be detrimental to the success of a campaign.

The ultimate goal of a PPC campaign is not just to drive clicks and traffic but to generate conversions, whether that means making a purchase, filling out a form, or calling a business. Once a user clicks on an ad and arrives on the landing page, it’s crucial to ensure that the page provides a seamless and optimized user experience that encourages them to take the desired action.

If all the effort is placed on creating a catchy ad copy or an eye-catching creative, but the landing page is poorly designed, slow to load, difficult to navigate, or lacks a clear call-to-action, the chances of conversion significantly decrease.

Furthermore, focusing solely on ad copy or creative also means overlooking the critical aspect of testing and optimizing landing pages. A/B testing different landing page variations, tracking user behavior, and analyzing data to make data-driven decisions can ultimately lead to higher conversion rates and better return on investment (ROI).

In summary, having an excellent ad copy or creative is only half the battle in PPC advertising. Neglecting post-click behavior can lead to missed opportunities and wasted ad spend. It’s essential to balance creative efforts with optimizing landing pages and focusing on improving the user experience to maximize conversions.

Weirdly defined target audiences in FB/Google

Weirdly defined target audiences in PPC campaigns can lead to ineffective ad spend, wasted budget, and missed opportunities to reach potential customers. When the target audience is too broad or not well-defined, the ad may be shown to people who are not interested in the product or service being advertised, leading to low click-through rates and low conversion rates. On the other hand, if the target audience is too narrow or specific, the ad may not reach enough people, resulting in low impressions and limited reach.

Furthermore, weirdly defined target audiences can also result in irrelevant or inappropriate ad placements. For example, if the ad is targeted to an audience that is too young or too old for the product, it may not generate the desired results. In addition, targeting people who are too far away from the business’s location can result in wasted ad spend and low ROI.

Therefore, it is important for PPC campaigns to have well-defined and targeted audiences based on relevant demographics, interests, behaviors, and locations. This will help ensure that the ad is shown to the right people who are more likely to be interested in the product or service being offered, resulting in higher click-through rates, higher conversion rates, and a better ROI.

Inconsistent naming structure, hierarchy, etc within accounts

Inconsistent naming structure, hierarchy, and organization within PPC accounts can lead to confusion, inefficiency, and errors. When PPC campaigns are not consistently named or organized, it can be challenging for the account manager or other team members to understand what each campaign is targeting or which campaigns are performing well.

This can lead to wasted time and resources, as the account manager may need to spend time manually reviewing each campaign to understand its objectives and performance metrics. It can also lead to missed opportunities, as important data and insights may be lost in a poorly organized account.

Furthermore, inconsistent naming and organization can make it difficult to compare campaigns or create meaningful reports. It can also make it harder to implement changes or optimizations across the account, as the manager may need to spend more time manually updating each campaign rather than being able to quickly apply changes at a higher level.

To avoid these issues, it’s essential to establish a clear naming convention and hierarchy for PPC campaigns and ad groups. This can include naming conventions that clearly describe the campaign objective or target audience, as well as an organized structure that groups similar campaigns and ad groups together. Regularly auditing and cleaning up the account can also help ensure consistency and avoid confusion. By taking the time to establish a consistent naming and organization structure, PPC account managers can improve efficiency, accuracy, and ultimately drive better results.

Complete lack of understanding on conversion windows, view-through conversions, and multi-channel conversion attribution

A complete lack of understanding on conversion windows, view-through conversions, and multi-channel conversion attribution can be detrimental to the effectiveness of a PPC campaign.

Conversion windows refer to the time period in which a conversion can be attributed to a particular ad click. If a business has a short conversion window, they may miss out on valuable data if they are not tracking their campaigns properly.

View-through conversions refer to the instances where a user sees an ad but does not click on it, but then later converts. If a business is not tracking view-through conversions, they may underestimate the impact of their campaigns.

Multi-channel conversion attribution refers to the process of assigning credit for a conversion to multiple touchpoints in a customer’s journey. A lack of understanding on this topic can lead to poor decision-making when it comes to campaign optimization. For example, a business may mistakenly focus on one channel while ignoring another that is contributing significantly to conversions.

Overall, a lack of understanding of conversion windows, view-through conversions, and multi-channel attribution can lead to inaccurate data, poor campaign optimization, and ultimately, wasted ad spend. It is important for businesses to invest in learning and understanding these concepts in order to run effective PPC campaigns.

Best Practices to Optimize Your PPC Efforts

  • Create a new account instead of taking over the existing one.
  • Start with a clean slate and build a solid foundation for your PPC campaign.
  • Perform a comprehensive audit of the existing campaign to identify any issues or areas of improvement.
  • Use a keyword research tool to identify relevant keywords for your business.
  • Segment your campaigns based on keyword themes and match types.
  • Create targeted ad groups with specific ad copy and landing pages.
  • Optimize your landing pages for better conversion rates.
  • Set up conversion tracking to measure the success of your campaigns.
  • Use negative keywords to exclude irrelevant traffic.
  • Monitor your campaigns regularly and adjust your bids and budgets accordingly.
  • Test and experiment with different ad copy, targeting options, and landing pages to find what works best for your business.


Taking over someone else’s PPC campaign can be challenging, but by avoiding common mistakes and following best practices, you can optimize your PPC efforts and achieve better results. Remember, the key to a successful PPC campaign is not just knowing all of the levers and metrics, but understanding which ones to pull and in which order to pull them to drive results.

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With our PPC management services, you can rest assured that your advertising dollars are being spent wisely and that you are getting the best possible results. So why wait? Contact us today to learn more about how we can help take your business to the next level with expert PPC management. Ready to talk with PPC expert? Contact us or call +372 5551 4747, for personal offer.

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